Heavy vehicle registration scheme

Heavy vehicles and heavy mobile machinery are registered under the Motor Vehicle (National Heavy Vehicle Registration fees) Regulations 2008.

The regulations make provision for nationally consistent registration fees adjusted annually to recover the costs of heavy vehicle impact on roads. As well as a road component, registration fees also include a new regulatory component. Find out more on the NTC website.

All vehicles and trailers with a Gross Vehicles Mass (GVM) or Aggregate Trailer mass (ATM) of more than 4.5 tonnes, which are three years of age or over from date of manufacture, will need to be inspected prior to the vehicle being registered in South Australia in a new vehicle owner's name. This includes vehicles in the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Maintenance Accreditation Scheme but excludes buses and special purpose vehicles such as tractors, agricultural and road-making equipment.

Vehicles affected by the national vehicle registration

National vehicle registration applies to:

  • all vehicles and trailers with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes
  • prime movers with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes
  • special purpose vehicles with an unladen mass or GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes.

National registration fees and charges

Registration charges are based on the expected road use of heavy vehicles and trailers (type, mass and number of axles). Fees for third-party bodily insurance are also payable when paying registration charges.

  • Additional charges can apply when a rigid truck or prime mover tows two or more trailers, and changing the nominated configuration of your vehicle may also alter the fees payable.
  • Concessions and seasonal registration are available to primary producers and operators.
  • Special purpose vehicles such as fire appliances, graders, fork lifts, mobile cranes and self-propelled farm machines will only be charged registration when truck-based or overmass.
  • Plant does not attract a registration charge.
  • In some cases, photo evidence of the vehicle may be required to determine its registration class.

National Heavy Vehicle Plate

A national heavy vehicle plate will be issued to heavy vehicles garaged in South Australia whenever:

  • a new heavy vehicle is registered
  • a heavy vehicle is registered in a new name
  • a registration for a vehicle (that does not already have a national heavy vehicle plate) is transferred to a different participating jurisdiction
  • a lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen number plate is replaced

The national heavy vehicle plate will have a nationally consistent plate fee as detailed on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s website.

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport will continue to manage and administer licensing and vehicle registration services such as new registrations, renewals and changes to registration details.

Notification of heavy vehicle registration expiry

Renewal notices will be sent approximately six weeks before the expiry date. An electronic notification can be received by email or SMS. To receive a digital renewal notice you can subscribe using the mySAGOV account.

You can check the registration status of a South Australian registered vehicle online using the Check registration expiry date enquiry or you can download the EzyReg app to your smart phone.

The mySAGOV app for Android and iOS also allows you to add your vehicles and receive notifications when they are due to expire.

Evidence of current registration status

The online Check registration expiry date enquiry can be searched by anyone at any time and the results include the expiry date and current vehicle configuration. This functionality is also available in the mySAGOV app.

It is also recommended that you keep the lower “tear off” portion of your registration details certificate in the vehicle. Although there is no legal requirement to do so the certificate will display the expiry date of registration of the vehicle and is provided as a reminder of your registration expiry date, for you and for others that might drive your vehicle

SAPOL and other enforcement agencies can check vehicle status online without the need to refer to a registration details certificate.

You can also use the mySAGOV app or EzyReg to check whether someone else's vehicle is registered or not.

Travelling interstate

Interstate police and enforcement officers can check a vehicle status online, however, we recommend that you keep the lower ‘tear off’ portion of your registration details certificate in the vehicle as a safeguard in case online services are not available.  This portion does not contain any person information or important vehicle identifiers.

If there is mobile coverage available, you can use the online Check Registration Expiry Date enquiry or the mySAGOV app to confirm your vehicle’s registration status.

Selling or buying a heavy vehicle

When selling a vehicle, the seller is required to provide the registration details certificate to the buyer.

When purchasing a vehicle the buyer should ask to see the registration details certificate for the vehicle.  The certificate should display the details of the person or company you acquire the vehicle from.

All vehicles and trailers with the gross vehicle mass (GVM) or aggregate trailer mass (ATM) over 4.5 tonnes that are three years or older from date of manufacture require an inspection upon change of ownership. Refer to the Frequently asked questions fact sheet for more information on change of heavy vehicle ownership inspections.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to check the registration expiry date before buying a second hand vehicle. This can be done three ways:

Detection of unregistered vehicles

Advances in technology allows roadside registration checks to be carried out by South Australia Police to immediately check vehicle registration status using the vehicle number plate details. Unregistered vehicles may also be detected by speed, red light and other fixed cameras.

All vehicles used on South Australian roads must have valid registration. Driving an unregistered vehicle on the road may be committing an offence and the driver may not be covered by a compulsory third party insurance policy.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act 1959, it is an offence for a registered owner to allow an unregistered or uninsured vehicle to be driven on the road.

Heavy penalties apply for driving an unregistered, or unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

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Page last updated 9 July 2021

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